Isaiah Cousins has seen his draft stock skyrocket over the last month and a lot of it has to do with his versatility. While teammate Buddy Hield has been grabbing headlines for potentially being a top-3 pick, Cousins has quietly been moving up on draft boards across the league as well. Like Hield, Cousins was a four-year player at Oklahoma and played a vital role in the Sooners' postseason success the last two seasons.
Why He Could Be A First Rounder
Cousins finished his collegiate career with an average of 9.7 points per game, so what would he be a first round pick? Because his senior season he showed that he can play either the one or the two, that's why. Cousins led Oklahoma's run to the Final Four from the point guard position where he also managed a career-high 12.6 points per game as a senior. He also dished out nearly five assists per game.
Prior to last season, Isaiah Cousins was viewed as an undersized NBA prospect at shooting guard but his success in the 2015-16 season makes him a larger than average point guard, with a wingspan of nearly six-foot-six-inches, who is also a legitimate scoring threat as well.
Why He May Slide Into The Second Round
Shot selection will be his biggest adjustment in the NBA. Often times Isaiah Cousins found himself to be the victim of his own poor choice. Be it driving in too deep and forcing a bad shot over a lengthy defender or failing to adequately create his own shot off the dribble, Cousins still needs to develop his offensive game a bit more. He also needs to improve on his 67% free throw shooting.
I think it's Cousins' ability to be a legit combo guard with a deep range that will make him a favorable choice for GM's. He's better than average defensively and his size (6-4/190) would continue to aid him at even getting better at defending NBA point guards.